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A strong earthquake shakes central Greece and was felt by the Balkan residents

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An earthquake with an initial magnitude of 6.3 struck central Greece and was felt as far away as the capitals of neighboring Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro.

By The Associated Press

March 3, 2021, 12:14 pm

• 2 minutes to read

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There were no immediate reports of injuries. Local officials reported some structural damage, particularly in old homes and buildings that had collapsed or cracked walls.

The earthquake pushed people out of homes and office buildings into the streets in Larissa and Ternavos, the two towns closest to the epicenter, 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) west and northwest of Larissa. Several aftershocks hit the region, the strongest of which had an initial strength of over 5.0.

The quake struck after 12:15 pm (1015 GMT), according to the Euro-Mediterranean Seismic Center, which estimated its initial strength at 6.2.

The earthquake originated in a fault line in the area that historically did not produce much larger earthquakes than Wednesday’s quake, a seismologist at the Athens Geodynamic Institute Vasilis Karastathis told reporters. He said post-quake activity had appeared normal so far, but experts were monitoring the situation.

Nikos Gatsas, mayor of the town of Elasuna, north of the epicenter, told Greek state-owned ERT radio that the walls of old houses had collapsed in neighboring villages, and that one of the village schools had been damaged. All students were evacuated from the building, and there were no injuries.

The fire department said it received reports of damage to a house and a school while firefighting forces and police patrolled the area. All local fire departments have been put on alert.

The Chief of the General Staff of National Defense, other officials in the civil defense and fire department, and political officials were heading to the area.

Greece is located in a region of high seismic activity. The vast majority of earthquakes cause no damage or injuries.

Last October, an earthquake in the eastern Greek island of Samos and the nearby Turkish coast killed two high school students in Samos and at least 75 people in Turkey.

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